[10:40 PM] Rockets @ Lakers

Who will WIN this matchup?

Houston Rockets (0-0)

@ Los Angeles Lakers (0-0)


Current odds:

Houston Rockets: (-240)

Los Angeles Lakers: (+200)


ESPN simulations have Los Angeles as XX% favorites to win the game.

XX% of sports bets are currently on Houston to win as (TBD) underdogs.

The line for this game is Rockets by 6 points.

The Los Angeles Lakers completed the Kobe Bryant era as one of the worst teams in the NBA and begin the regrouping process when they host the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Bryant’s season-long retirement party is now in the past as the Lakers aim to eventually become competitive again under first-year coach Luke Walton.

There will be less tension circulating with Howard gone and young Clint Capela (7.0 points, 6.4 rebounds) will be given the opportunity to be the new center. Houston added forward Ryan Anderson and guard Eric Gordon as free agents to provide scoring punch and also landed power forward Nene to provide interior depth. The main task of everyone is to mix well with Harden, who ranked second in the NBA in scoring (29.0) last season and could improve on that under D’Antoni’s offensive-friendly system.

Los Angeles added veterans in center Timofey Mozgov, forward Luol Deng and point guard Jose Calderon, but it will be the youngsters that determine whether the club can make a noticeable improvement. Second-year point guard D’Angelo Russell (13.2 points) experienced a star-crossed season as a rookie while young power forward Julius Randle (11.3 points, 10.2 rebounds) displayed that he’s ready to take on a bigger role. Rookie small forward Brandon Ingram, the No. 2 overall pick from Duke, will come off the bench to start the season as Walton wants to bring him along slowly.

The Rockets won last season’s three matchups by an average of 19 points and prevailed in each of the past five meetings.

Calderon (calf) and Mozgov (tailbone) are both probable for the opener.

Houston PG Patrick Beverley (knee) underwent arthroscopic surgery and will miss approximately 4-to-6 weeks.


StreakSmarts Pick: Houston Rockets

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick